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Development and Assessment of an Aging Criteria for the Main Hawaiian Islands Crimson Job Fish, Pristipomoides Filamentosus (Opakapaka)

October 06, 2020

We examined opakapaka microstructure and age to provide information for a stock assessment, with the resulting criterion becoming a reference for future evaluation of main Hawaiian Islands sex-specific growth of opakapaka

The economic and cultural importance of the crimson jobfish Pristipomoides filamentosus has long placed it at the pinnacle of the Hawaiian deepwater handline fishery.

Known locally as opakapaka, the species is assessed and managed as part of a seven species bottomfish complex called the “Deep-7.” To provide length at age and somatic growth information for an age-based single-species stock assessment, we examined opakapaka otolith microstructure and age interpretation.

Using standardized thin-sectioning methods for age estimation, we developed an ageing criterion based on:

1) daily increment counts to confirm the location of first annulus

2) evaluation of otolith shape between younger and older fish

3) comparison of annulus counts with the bomb radiocarbon age of each specimens

Between-reader age-precision estimates were at acceptable levels for deep-water species (APE, 5.5%; CV, 7.7%).

We conclude that the application of this ageing criterion to thin otolith sections is a suitable method for the determination of annual age estimates for opakapaka between 1 and 44 years old.

The resulting criterion will be a reference for estimating future age compositions of the fishery and evaluation of main Hawaiian Islands sex-specific growth of P. filamentosus.

Nichols R, Schemmel E, O'Malley JM. 2020. Development and assessment of an aging criteria for the main Hawaiian Islands crimson job fish, Pristipomoides filamentosus (opakapaka). U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NOAA-TM-NMFS-PIFSC-110, 30 p.  https://doi.org/10.25923/1dcr-gz45.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 12/07/2021